BMW has been criticized for putting some of its car’s hardware features behind a wall of fees – for example, drivers will have to pay more to turn on heated seats.
According to technology news site The Verge, customers have criticized the company as “greedy and exploitative”, with many of the features that come standard in most modern vehicles.
Drivers are particularly worried because the hardware for features advertised on BMW’s ConnectedDrive store – including heated seats and adaptive suspension – must be fitted to the vehicle during production to be enabled.
For UK drivers, using the installed system to heat the front seats costs £15 a month or – with discounts on longer subscriptions – £150 for a year, £250 for three years or £350 for perpetuity.
BMW did not respond to Sky News to explain why these costs were necessary if the features were to go into production.
The fee wall for ConnectedDrive features is only available in certain countries such as the UK, South Africa, South Korea, New Zealand, and Germany.
It doesn’t run in the US, and the company says it has no plans to introduce the features to US drivers.
A BMW spokesman told Sky News: “Where heated seats or any feature available in the ConnectedDrive store has been purchased when the customer’s vehicle is ordered, no further registration or payment is required. follow.
“The ConnectedDrive Store gives customers the opportunity to add selected features that they didn’t order when the vehicle was built, at a later date.
“This can be helpful for new customers if their circumstances change after a purchase. For secondary owners, this functionality is especially helpful, as they now have the opportunity to add features. which the original owner did not choose.
“Customers can enable all hardware features for a one-time payment or, if preferable, choose an annual or monthly subscription, depending on the feature.
“This allows drivers to experiment with a feature by purchasing a short-term trial before committing to purchase.”